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Milestones of Norwegian History

In this lecture, we examined Norway’s history, shaped by its unique position in the European continent and honed by its centuries-long drive for independence and self-rule. We traced the development of human communities during the Bronze Age and how climate necessitated trade with Northern Europe. We witnessed the dawn of the Viking Age, when Norwegian Vikings navigated uncharted waters to settle Iceland, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Ireland, and even North America. As the Vikings became Christians, we followed the sagas of the Norse kings such as Olaf Tryggvason, Harald Hadrada, and Saint Olaf in their quest to forge a united Norway.

We then looked at Norway’s long period of subservience to Denmark and the Norwegians’ growing understanding of their own uniqueness in the 18th century, culminating in the creation of the Norwegian constitution of 1814, which paved the way for longed-for independence in 1905. Norway’s nationhood was put to the test almost immediately with the challenges of World War I and the Occupation of Norway by the Nazis during World War II. Finally, we saw the dawn of a new age for independent Norway with the discovery of oil, which led to the creation of one of Europe’s strongest welfare states.




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